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Vision impairment to increase “five-fold” by 2050

The rise in vision impairment will be associated to myopic macular degeneration, a new study reports

Eye

Vision impairment will increase five-fold as a result of myopic macular degeneration (MMD), according to new research.

Published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, the study estimates that 10 million people were visually impaired as a result of MMD in 2010, of which 3.3 million are blind. However, researchers predict that this will reach 55.7 million, of which 18.5 million will be blind, by 2050.

The study was performed by researchers at the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Singapore Eye Institute and is the first of its kind to estimate the global prevalence of MMD.

The authors of the study highlight that global myopia and high myopia prevalence is projected to continue to rise as a consequence of “trends in lifestyle, education and demographics.”

CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute and co-author on the study, Professor Kovin Naidoo, said that by 2050, along with MMD, there is likely to be an increase in the number of people with cataract, glaucoma and retinal pathologies, such as tears and detachment.

He said: “This analysis will complement estimates on these other conditions, and will be critical to planning and informing strategies for prevention and management as health care systems adapt to the dramatic increase in the number of people with vision impairment.”